Andrew Luck’s retirement needed for better health

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Indianapolis Colt’s star quarterback Andrew Luck retired at the age of 29, leaving his fans stunned just two weeks prior to the start of the 2019 NFL season.

During his football career Luck has undergone a lacerated kidney, injured ribs, at least one concussion, torn cartilage in his throwing shoulder and, most recently, a calf and ankle injury. He spent all of 2017 off the field and has been in and out of rehab constantly. These physical issues have built up over the past few seasons and Luck decided to say enough is enough.

There’s an insane amount of pressure that comes from the NFL whether the players want it or not. As he wept during his official retirement announcement, fans were booing him across the nation. His fans were filled with shock and disappointment that his talent would no longer help guide the team to victory.

Now we’re a couple weeks past the big announcement and there’s one question that is raising controversy in the NFL world: Is Luck’s decision selfish?

It just wouldn’t be fair for Luck to continue playing. He said himself that he doesn’t have the same passion he once had, and the team deserves someone who can commit wholeheartedly. After facing so much brutality on and off the field, I can’t help but wonder how he’s lasted this long. Luck needed to step down and focus on his mental health, and Colts fans should be able to respect that and have faith in the rest of the team.

In 2017, researchers at Boston University studied the brains of deceased NFL players and diagnosed 99% with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain condition associated with memory loss, cognitive impairment, heightened aggression, loss of impulse control and suicidal ideation among a list of other disturbing symptoms. Given this information, it should not be too difficult to understand why Luck wanted out of the game.

You and I are able to watch the game of football with a sense of detachment while the players are feeling and enduring every second of it. Luck and his wife are expecting a child, his shoulder injury derailed his career, and he simply did not love the game anymore. The fact that Luck lost his passion for the game is not his fault. He’s now a role model for people struggling with their mental and physical health, encouraging them to begin prioritizing themselves and their families.

“Right now, my journey just doesn’t include football going forward,” Luck said. “I’m so grateful. I will feel like a Colt forever.”